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Violent clashes in northern Lebanon

Latest update : 2008-07-09

Violent clashes in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli left at least one soldier and four civilians wounded, according to a Lebanese security official. Police and military forces have tightened security in the city.

At least five people were wounded in violent clashes in the northen Lebanese port city of Tripoli late Tuesday, a security official told AFP.
   
"The injured included a soldier from the Lebanese Armed Forces and four civilians," the official said.
   
The official said that forces were ordered "to increase patrols, arrest anyone who threatens the public security even if the use of force is necessary".
   
The fighting took place on a main road that separates the areas of Bab al-Tebbaneh and Jabal Mohsen -- the scene of sectarian fighting two weeks ago that left nine dead and 45 injured.
   
The army could not be reached for comment.
   
The security official had earlier told AFP that explosions could be heard in the area around 21h20 (18h30 GMT) followed by single shots being fired. The fighting later intensified and then subsided an hour later.
   
The majority of residents in Bab al-Tebbaneh are Sunni supporters of the government, while Jabal Mohsen has a majority from the Alawite Muslim sect that is a branch of Shiism which supports the Syrian- and Iranian- backed opposition led by Hezbollah.
   
The fighting that took place two weeks ago in the area was the worst since the clashes that erupted in different parts of the country in May that left 65 dead, raising fears of an outbreak of civil war.
   
Tuesday's fighting comes as the various sides work to form a national unity government as called for by a deal brokered in the Qatari capital on May 21. The government has yet to be formed due to contiued bickering over cabinet posts.
 

Date created : 2008-07-09

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